The Trials of The Trials


Kara Winger

Maria Michta-Coffey

Words really fail to fully describe the thrill of the past 24hrs. I am beyond elated that I have qualified to represent the USA at the Olympic Games this summer in Rio, now as a two time Olympian. I am also overjoyed (huge understatement) that my TEAMmate Miranda Melville earned her first Olympic Berth and we will be going TOGETHER! Some moments are truly worth the wait, the blood, sweat, tears, the doubts that needed to be squashed, the fear that needed to be denied all so that the victory would taste even sweeter! Since a picture is worth a thousand words I thought I’d let my jubilant smile do the talking. A full blog post is deff due, but for now I’m still soaking it all in and enjoying some R&R with the family, being a Oiselle teammate fan girl as I cheer on the rest of the birds earning their ticket to Rio, and reflecting on and thankful for all the moments that got me to this point! My list of thank you’s could go on forever, and I can’t possibly list everyone hear but I’ll mention a few!

Thank you EVERYONE who has helped, encouraged, supported and loved me. To my family who has been there since day and has only grown over the years it is because of your unconditional love and belief that I not only made it but have been able to savor the moments . Thank you to my Sachem family, my Icahn School of Medicine friends, Duke Chiropractic, my trainer Courtenay Felton, my amazing Coach Tim Seaman who has waited for this moment as long as the two of us, my Long Island Track and Field family, especially Walk USA Gary Westerfield and the Newhoff family, to the race waking community throughout the USA from athletes to officials to fans thank you!Thank you to Oiselle for spreading your wings and embracing a race walker, thank you for helping me as Nester mentioned “add a new dimension to walking!” I am truly honored to represent all the woman which your brand has united and the values you believe in. Thank you Picky Bars for feeding the Dream both literally and figuratively, we’re off to Rio baby! To my best friends at home who have been such an amazing support group over the years I love you so unbelievably much! To everyone else who took the time to care, to wish me luck, cheer me on, you too I’m am so thankful for! Lastly to my amazing, understanding and ever flexible water boy husband Joey, WE did it!!!

Jeff Porter

What can I say? I made my 2nd Olympic Team in the 110m hurdles! I have to congratulate my Rio teammates Devon Allen and Ronnie Ash (my training partner). This is truly a blessing and I am forever grateful. God has blessed me with this performance but even if he didn’t, He is still an awesome God. I know the feeling of being on the outside looking in b/c that has happened to me a lot! I want to thank you all for your support! I have a great medical team, coaching team, and support team. There is no way I would have made it this far without them. @tiffofili has been supporting me through all this. Even though she thinks I’m crazy most of the time, there’s no one else I’d rather have in my corner. We’re going to Rio and we’re going to get some hardware!!! #teamusa #teamporter A photo posted by Jeff Porter (@jeffporter1) on

Amber Campbell

Heather Miller-Koch

I have so many thank you’s to share but none of them trump this. This man…my coach, husband, training partner, teammate, etc. This was the definition of a team effort. He was the brains behind everything. He was my pacer in every workout. He is a genius in training theory, he gets me ready every year to have my best meet when it matters most. How did I raise my collegiate score of 5239 to 6423…this guy! He deserves all of the credit. He believed in me after I scored 4018 pts in my very first heptathlon in 2008. He believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. Everyone always asks, “How can your husband coach you?” “Isn’t it hard?” Yes, at times it is but it makes moments like this infinitely, infinitely better. I wouldn’t want it any other way. I couldn’t imagine this journey being with someone I wasn’t completely in love with. This is OUR road to Rio. WE did it! WE did it together through ✝Christ. THANK YOU RYAN! A photo posted by Heather Miller-Koch (@hmillerkoch) on

Sandi Morris

Brenda Martinez

Donn Cabral

Well folks, I made the US Olympic team. A few moments before this was taken I was struggling to grasp how I felt about a 3rd place finish. But with the flag in hand it was much easier to smile and look ahead to the amazing opportunity I have this August. And this opportunity wouldn’t be possible without my family, teammates, and coaches, and wouldn’t be significant to me without my friends and my community. (And this photo wouldn’t be possible without @arunnerseye). To those who ask if the significance has hit me yet: so far I’ve only been hit by waves of relief. I wasn’t the only one with an interest in the result and I feel the external pressures of letting down family, friends and sponsors much more than my own fear of failure. So for that I want to thank @nike for their support (including 2013 when they elected not to exercise their right to decrease my contract all the way to the agreed-upon reduction) and @berlitz_us for enthusiastically supporting my development off the track with months of intensive Portuguese lessons. I’ve come a long way and I can’t wait to get the chance to use my new skills!

A photo posted by Donn Cabral (@donncabral) on

Kibwè Johnson


Amanda Bingson (from Facebook)

So now that I have had time to adjust and accept the reality that I will not be making my second Olympic Team. I have to say that I am so thankful for all the kind words, and all the support from my sponsors (NYAC, NIKE, USATF FOUNDATION, BUDWEISER , AND SWIMSUITS FOR ALL) this past season. Even though I feel like I have let everyone down I know that this won’t last long. I have to believe that everything happens for a reason and God’s bigger plan is forming. The good thing is, I don’t have to wait 4 years to prove that I am better than this. Next year we have our World Championships in London (same thing as Olympic but different title). Mock me, Next year will have a different ending.

Kayla Caldwell

  I can not thank everyone enough for all of the love, support, and prayers for my Olympic Trials experience. As the trials come to a close tomorrow I am just reflecting on what an experience this whole thing was. 15th was obviously not the result I wanted but I learned so much on this trip, I got to see some of my family, I got to see some of my best friends, and I grew as a person and as an athlete. This is just a stepping stone for me and I’m so excited to get back to JB and train my butt of for the next 4 years! I love this sport, it has given me so much and taught me so much. I’m not giving up on it and I’m not giving up on myself. Just have to figure out how to step it up from here! Thank you everyone from the bottom of my heart #polevault #teamusana #teamessx #dreamchasing #keeppersevering #olympictrials2016   A photo posted by Kayla Caldwell (@kaylacaldwellpv) on


Brandon Hudgins

Turquoise Thompson

Tia Brooks


Rachel Schneider

“Perseverance: secret of all triumphs.” . Yesterday’s race is a hard one for me to process. Was stuck in the box for most of the race and heading into the last lap I finally decided the best way to break free was to hit the breaks and come out the back. Left it all on the track but came short of making the final by one place. . This sport can be both brutally heartbreaking and brilliantly beautiful – every runner who has stayed in it long enough has their stories of both. This one hurts. A lot. But I can promise you now this is nothing but fuel for the future. I’ll be back in 2020 – more experienced, stronger, faster, and even hungrier. Till then – looking forward to all the miles of training and racing ahead, and competing for spots on the world championship teams! . Lastly, and most importantly – a HUGE thank you to everyone who has believed in me and supported me along the way. Every single message has meant so much. I feel like the luckiest person in the world for getting to do what I love everyday and for all the amazing people it’s connected me with and opportunities it’s opened. Honestly can’t put my gratitude into words! Special shoutout to my family, close friends, coach, @underarmour fam, @totalsportsus team, and @launchsportperformance – wouldn’t have made it to the start line without you! . : @featherstephens and @007trackfan #tracktown16 #teamUA #runwithfight #longestpostever A photo posted by Rachel Schneider (@rachschneid18) on

Lance Brooks (from Facebook)

I thank you all for your support and kind words! You all make it worth the blood, sweat and tears (hard work)!! Much appreciated!! I ended up 5th, and did not make the 2016 Olympic team, clearly not what I was going for, but I must say it has been a great come back year for me. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE 2016 OLYMPIANS!! We are all proud of you! GO TEAM U.S.A!!!

Heather Kampf (from Facebook)

I’m at a loss. In many ways this has been a perfect season with great races and even better workouts. Rather than taking the hard line of thinking “failure is not an option”, I had a genuine mantra of “success is inevitable”.

No great story comes without hiccups, mine just unfortunately came in the final two weeks of my preparation for the Trials. It took nine days of treatment, pool workouts and prayers to get to running pain-free for the first time last Saturday. Ever-the-optimist, I thought this was all part of His greater plan to humble me and realign my motivations on the way to something great.

The positive thing is I am running pain-free again, and I went out there today and executed a race plan that was ideal for my strengths…the negative thing is my legs weren’t quite back to pre-injury ‘pop’ to finish like I needed to. I am forever grateful for all the support, well-wishes, and love I have felt from everyone throughout this process. One of my greatest motivators is visualizing the happy faces of friends, family, and fans on those days I do them proud and confirm that their belief in me is warranted, the sacrifices I’ve made are worth it. Thank you to everyone who has reminded me this day does not define my ability, my potential, or my worthiness of love.

When you make an Olympic Trials Final- no matter how likely or unlikely of a pick you are, you have earned the right to dream. To believe that it could be you. That everything you’ve gone through in your running career has led you to this incredible opportunity.

Right now I think I’m still just suffering the whiplash of wholeheartedly having, and then losing that hope.

I’ve learned that running can break my spirit, but my passion for this gift God has blessed me with is also what heals me. So, I’m already booked for a flight to Italy on Sunday- where I can chase down my own possibilities, aim to gain perspective, perhaps a little redemption, and dare I say, have some fun.

Donnie Cowart


Kaitlin Goodman (from Facebook)

Fortune favors the bold – well, sometimes. Took the lead for half of the 5k to make it an honest, fast race in the hopes of advancing to Sunday’s final. I came up short of my goal, but I’d rather run brave than scared. Learned so much this season about racing, competing, and what’s inside of me. More to come on the track in Europe this summer! Olympic Trials, you’ve been all I’ve dreamed of and more!

Jordan Scott

Tiana Davis

Donald Scott

Alexis Love

Queen Harrison

Stephanie Garcia

“Hey! Imma keep running cause a winner don’t quit on themselves.” – . . . Unbelievably grateful for the outpouring of love and support you’ve all shown me after last night’s #steeplechase final. As you can see in my face during this last water jump, I left EVERYTHING out on the track, including a fall on the final barrier. I am heartbroken yet even more resolved to come back stronger the next time I step on a starting line. Not an Olympian, but proud of my race, thankful for my support system, faithful to God’s great plan, and even more honored to be part of #TeamNB. . . . #alwaysinbeta #tracktown16 #newbalance #furmanelite #steeplechicks #likeagirl #strongnotskinny #race #dontcallitacomeback #tracknation #fitfocusedfierce #striveforgreatness . . . @urimiscott A photo posted by Stephanie Garcia (@steph_steeples) on

Ashley Higginson (from Facebook)

The Olympic picture perfect dream was not accomplished but I am filled with so much gratitude for every single person running has brought my way and helped make the pursuit so incredible. Thank you and ❤️ – onward!

Sarah Brown


Sarah Pease

Amanda Eccleston

Kyle Merber (from Facebook)

Just wanted to say thank you to everyone who sent messages of love and support this past weekend. Unfortunately I fell short in my bid for Rio, but I am proud with what I was able to do with what I had. I am not upset with the way things went in the race, as much as I am disappointed with the way things went this season as a whole. Although the Olympics is considered the pinnacle of our sport in many ways, there are still more opportunities for me between now and 2020. And so I am off to Europe tomorrow to continue chasing them!

Padua, Italy-July 17th

Dublin, Ireland-July 22nd (there the 18th-26th, maybe a quick trip to Tipp!?)

Some more races…Then Hoka One One Long Island Mile! Sign up!

Lauren Johnson (from Facebook)

Yesterday my quest to make the Olympic team did not end how I dreamed it would. When I stumbled off the track with 450 to go I knew that any realistic shot I had was gone. I fought best of could that last lap. Not knowing, thinking what could have been is the hardest thing. The beauty of a race is at the end you know without a doubt who the fastest runner was that day. I feel like I will never know if I was good enough to be an Olympian this year. Looking at the results, the last lap splits, I know I could have been in the race, had a chance. I don’t know if my body has 4 more years in it, I hope so. Not everyone is meant to be an Olympian, this year was not my time. I don’t understand it, but for some reason God has a different plan for my life. I just want to take a moment to thank everyone, my family, friends, and community for the out pouring of love and support, before during and after the trials. Every single prayer, message or post was was felt/read and greatly appreciated and means the world to me. So, thank you! I’m not done yet, I’ll have some more races this summer and the opportunity to make another world championship team next year. Thanks for joining me for the journey!

Katie Mackey

That goal. But everyone else out there has seen themselves achieving that goal in their head a thousand times. And everybody believes it’s going to be them. You have to believe it’s going to be you, like 100% with all of your being. And when it doesn’t happen it’s like the elation from celebrating your goal is equal to the devastation of it slipping through your fingers. I just thought it was going to be me.

Jasmin Stowers

Kori Carter

Daniella Bunch (from Facebook)

Blessed for the opportunity to compete at the trials this year. Not the outcome I was looking for but God’s plans outweigh my own. Had 3 deep throws in prelims that would have easily gotten me into finals, but I just couldn’t save them. This year has been challenging for me, but I’m ready for what’s to come next season. Thank you for all the support this year! ????

Fawn Miller (from Facebook)

Hard pill to swallow finishing 13th but can’t be more faithful for all the support I have received! Thank you everyone for joining me on this journey!!

Sara Vaughn

Dana Mecke

I wanted to thank everyone for all the overwhelming love and support I received going into the Olympic Trials! Although I did not have the race I wanted or anticipated, I ran as hard as I could that day and left it on the track. Four years ago, I would have killed for the opportunity to race at the Olympic Trials, but I was not close to being fast enough to qualify. This year, I was not only qualified with the Olympic Trials standard but with the Olympic qualifying Standard as well. I have come a long way and I am thankful for the journey to where I am at today. Thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way. My amazing family and friends, training partners, Coach @rosemonday800, Scott Slade, David Greifinger, Julie Wiernik, Hill Country Spine and Sport- Dr. Doyle, Edgar at @werunsa, @kosenkov_2008. It takes a village and I wouldn't have made it as far without you all! #olympictrials #onward #keeponkeepinon

A photo posted by Dana Mecke (@dana_mecke) on

Next Chapter

Amanda Smock

Bridget Franek

Overwhelmed by the support I’ve received this past week/year/career. I was unfortunately not able to accomplish the goals I set for myself at the beginning of the season but the challenges I was ultimately up against these past few months were not what I expected them to be either. Thanks to the support of many amazing friends I was somehow still able to compete with a field full of some of America’s best athletes. I am grateful for my journey, my friends, my gifts, my growth…….Thank you everyone who played a role. Its been an incredible ride.

Johnny Dutch

Mary Saxer

Id be lying if I said I wasn’t devastated. I’ve poured my heart and soul into this sport for the last 13 years. I’ve had the highest of highs and lowest of lows. Yesterday I walked off that field into my coach’s arms and we looked each other in the eyes and both said “no regrets”. I’m proud to truly say I have chased a dream, doing something I absolutely love, and gave it everything I had. Yesterday was simply unlucky (first two attempts I barely brushed the bar off on the way down. Made an adjustment on my 3rd attempt & just barely brushed the bar off on the way up. I wouldn’t have done anything different, except for a different result.) I strained my calf in May, which sidelined me from some world class competitions and several weeks of pole vault. As the Trials drew closer I continued to do everything I possibly could to aid my recovery and stay mentally strong. I got stronger with each day that passed and had the best two weeks of vault practice, I have ever had, leading into the Trials. Putting my calf setback aside I felt as ready as I possibly could have been. Unfortunately it just wasn’t my day. In a sport based around the Olympic movement it’s safe to say the Olympic Trials have made me feel like a failure. However, I’m anything but that. I can stand here truly proud of myself because I have chased my dreams. I have persevered. I have fought the good fight. I have even worn USA across my chest a couple times, which is honestly a dream come true in itself. This sport may not have taken me to the Olympic Games but it has taken me around the world, has given me some of the most incredible friendships, and has taught me more about myself than I ever knew possible. For that I am forever grateful. Words cannot express how thankful I am for all of you who have supported me, prayed for me, cheered for me near and far, and for those who TRULY believed in me. My coach Danny Wilkerson, husband Justin Sibears , and agent Chris Layne are at the top of that list. One thing is for sure…the journey is the destination! : @mccarthysan   A photo posted by Mary Saxer (@marysaxer) on

Melinda Withrow

This was not how I envisioned it ending… 8 years I put into chasing a dream that I believed whole heartedly I could achieve. Until that moment I didn’t. Yesterday, as I looked around myself and realized there where 21 other girls with the same dream slip through their fingers. Who am I to think I deserved it more than anyone else? I didn’t work any harder. I know because I’ve seen most of them work. I know theirs stories, their dreams, how much their families believed in them. So today, even knowing the ending, I will hold my head high and know that I left it ALL out there. I would not go back and trade a single day, of the blood, sweat, or tears, because the joy that this sport has brought to me, the friendships I have made, and person I have become. I had Family and friends go to great lengths to be by my side, wanting it just as bad as I did. As hard as it was to finishing on such a disappointing note, I needed them there more at that moment then ever before. The sacrifice to pursue this dream was not mine, but everyone around me. Thank you all for the support over these years, every text, message, kind word, financial support. It means more to me than I could ever express. From the bottom of my heart THANK YOU! And Ian, you better get ready, you’re about to have a full time wife ????. A photo posted by @melindawithrow on

Sanya Richards-Ross

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